Many years before the advent of the fitted kitchen as we know it, family kitchens often included a pantry or larder, in which to store foodstuff that needed to remain cool. However, the arrival of good domestic refrigeration and a desire for a sleeker more modern style meant that larders and pantries rather fell out of fashion.
In recent years, though, larders have once again become a key piece in a new kitchen design, with both built-in and freestanding models now available to give as much choice as possible. Updated and reinvented for the modern age, the interiors of these fabulous pieces of furniture no longer just accommodate non-perishable foods and linens – in fact, larders are fast becoming as much a kitchen staple as a sink or cooker. They’re also the perfect solution if you don’t like cluttered worktops as you can keep lots of items inside and close the doors so they’re hidden them when they’re not needed but easily accessible for when they are.
PICK YOUR STYLE
The look and size you’ll go for will depend on your kitchen, of course, but even in a sleek handleless kitchen, a larder such as our Ealing Larder and Linear Store Cupboard will be perfectly at home. For more classic schemes, the Pantry Larder, with internal spice racks, shelving and storage drawers works beautifully. Paint it the same shade as the rest of the kitchen to keep the feel consistent or create an accent piece by painting it in a bolder or contrasting colour. If you’re short on space then don’t despair. A built-in 60cm tall larder has almost the same footprint as a normal cupboard with a wall cupboard above – and if you include a granite or stone shelf, you’ll not loose on worktop space either. Build it to the ceiling and you can keep items that you use just once or twice a year such as extra-large roasting dishes and specialist cake tins tidied away neatly until they’re needed.
UNLEASH YOUR INNER NIGELLA
Cooking from scratch can be immensely satisfying and it’s oh-so-much-easier with a well-stocked store cupboard. Our grandparents would have used larders to store tinned goods, herbs – which last longer if kept out of the light – and condiments as well as every-day items such as potatoes, eggs, onions, bread and some fruits such as bananas. With its door racks for spices and herbs, drawers for packet foods and shelves for pulses and pasta a larder is a much better option than cupboard where you might have to dig around at the back for ingredients. Stack with glass jars and add clear labels so you can see at a glance what the contents are. Those made by Kilner are a classic choice but many high-street retailers have their own equally attractive options.
CALLED TO THE BAR
If you’re not a fan of drinks trolleys then why not convert your larder to a bar instead? Keep your favourite gins, whiskeys and aperitifs all in one place and use shelving above to store glasses, shakers, wine coolers and other paraphernalia then add some interior lighting and mirror finishes to add some cocktail-time chic. If you’re more of a Pinot lover than a gin drinker then think about including an integral wine rack, too.
Your larder will be part of a larger design so it’s a really good idea to plan the interior carefully, tailoring it as much as possible to your needs. For instance, if you’re planning to use it as a one-stop-shop for baking equipment, then ensure you’ve got plenty of space for all those dry ingredients. A cool shelf for making and rolling out pastry is also a great idea. Remember, though, if you want to include equipment such as blenders, mixers and the like, then you’ll need to measure their height to ensure you can fit them where they’re best needed. You’ll also need to consider where you’ll place your larder – too far away from the oven, fridge or sink, for instance, could see you spending a lot of your time walking between them.
If organizing your family on busy week mornings is a trial then a larder that’s a dedicated breakfast station could help contain mess and chaos by keeping everything neatly in one place. Include plug points for kettles, toasters and blenders then add drawers below for china, cutlery and linen and shelves above for cereals, jams, bread and pastries and then just shut the doors when the morning rush is over.
OUT OF OFFICE
As kitchens grow to become multi-tasking spaces, we’re all using them as much to socialize as we are to cook and this often means that there are laptops, tablets and phones that need to be charged as well as sometimes modems and printers that need to be plugged in all the time. This can be unsightly in a kitchen so thinking out of – or in – the box could see your larder transformed into a mini office hub. Customising the interior will not only help you to keep trailing wires out of harm’s way, it can also help you to organise homework by allocating drawers to various tasks or family members, while stashing away a plentiful supply of pens and paper and even board games will help to keep boredom at bay during the holidays.
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